I woke early. It was time to head to the trail! Out the door by 7am, I first drove from Bend to Frenchglen to drop off one of my resupply packages at the Steens Mountain Resort where I had rented a cabin in just about 2 weeks time. I had been in touch with Debbie there, and she was very willing to help out and she will be a great resource for hikers to come. The Frenchglen Hotel is a popular place to stay, and serves great meals, but I had been too late in calling them about availability, I’m hoping I’ll be able to have a meal there, but those get reserved fast too!
Next I drove to Fields, which is a one-stop shop kind of place, and unfortunately their rooms had been booked too, but Sandy who owns the store is letting me drop off a resupply box there. I could have completely resupplied from the store, and they have a grill to I plan on visiting when I hike back through. I did get one of their famous milkshakes though.
Next up was McDermitt, which lies just over the state border in Nevada. I went to the Ideal Market, really the only game in town, and had a good chat with Ken and Deva who own the place. Ken even remembered Sage, the first ODT hiker, from when she hiked through 3 years ago. VERY friendly folks and more than willing to help hikers out.
It was at the ideal market that I met up with the ONDA crew. I was driving a work truck out to meet up with a volunteer crew that would be heading to the Little Owyhee for a few days of inventoring, so I would be able to leave the truck with them for someone to drive back to Bend after the weekend, while I hike out tomorrow.
It’s a real treat to get to hang out with these folks tonight, in fact I met Pace again, a PCT thru-hiker I had met in February at an ALDHA-WEST hiking event in Cascade Locks. Small world that he is on the ONDA trip! Lots of questions about the hike and the route, and we all sat around a fire enjoying the dry evening. It has been a very wet spring, in fact there are still patches of snow out here, and it literally snowed over most of this area just last week. As fortune will have it, the temps look to be warming and the skies clearing, at least for the next week. I’m so excited to be out here, and will be hiking tomorrow!